Frequently asked questions FAQ
What sites are visited during the walk?
In the circuit or trek Carmelita-El Mirador, more than 14 pre-Hispanic archaeological sites are crossed. During the five-day tour we stop to visit El Tintal, La Muerta and El Mirador. During the six-day tour we visit El Tintal, La Muerta, El Mirador and La Florida.
What is the starting point and time of departure of the expedition?
The Expedition begins on the island of Flores, Petén. We usually pick you up at your hotel or transportation at 4:30 a.m. to take the bus that leads to Carmelita. It is necessary to leave very early to take advantage of the cool hours of the morning for the walk.
If you are in Flores a day before the trip, it is highly recommended that you contact us to coordinate the logistics of the trip.
Is there a possibility of shortening the path?
During the dry season it is possible to make a section of the route in four-wheel drive vehicle, to shorten three hours on the road. Contact us for more information.
How are the camp areas and sanitary services in the expedition?
We will sleep in base camps in El Tintal and El Mirador, in tents and mattresses equipped with sheets and a blanket. These camps have basic sanitary facilities and a space for the shower. If you feel the need to go to the bathroom while walking, then you should leave the road for a moment, find a suitable and safe place, cover the waste with earth and / or stones and collect the used paper in a bag and then deposit it in the dump.
What kind of food will I have during the expedition?
In the community of Carmelita we will have typical foods served in local canteens. Breakfast and full dinners are included in the camps in the forest. During the tour snacks, sandwiches and fruits are offered. There are also alternatives for vegetarians as well as gluten-free food (for which you must coordinate with our sales office prior to the start of the tour).
What type of transportation is used?
If you buy the private service we offer you a bus service with air conditioning.
If you buy the collective service and the group is small (2-3 people) we will move in a collective transport from Flores to Carmelita.
Are there additional payments for the mule riding service?
The price of the expedition includes mules for the loading of the luggage, if the traveler wishes a mule to ride during the tour, he must make an additional payment and inform him before starting the expedition.
Dates and Seasons
Is the Carmelita-El Mirador Expedition performed throughout the year?
It is open 7 days a week, every day of the month, including holidays; but between July to September (rainy season), it is necessary to make an additional physical effort to walk in flooded and muddy areas. At this time the presence of mosquitoes increases during the tour.
What is the best season of the year to do the Carmelita-El Mirador trek?
The best time to carry out the expedition is from the beginning of December to the end of June, a season in which the level of physical effort is minimal since the trails are completely dry and easy to navigate.
During the months of July to November, which coincides with the rainy season, it is necessary to make an additional physical effort to travel the flood areas that constitute 35% of the route, however it is possible to do it with a higher mental and physical challenge level.
Groups and tour types
What happens if I want to do the trek but I do not have a group?
The minimum number of people to organize an expedition is two people. If you are traveling as a couple or with a small group of friends, you have the option to decide the date of beginning of the expedition. If you travel alone and wish to join a group, you should consult the dates in the calendar or contact directly to our sales office.
The groups are formed without restriction of nationality nor age, and they have among 2 to 10 people per group.
What is the difference between a collective tour and a private tour?
A private tour is carried out providing exclusive services for the group, without mixing with other travelers, since the beginning of the expedition: private transport, cook, guides and muleteers. You decide the travel date.
In the collective tour all services are shared with other travelers. The travel date depends on the tour already scheduled.
What physical condition should I have to carry out this tour?
It is recommended to have a good state of health and be able to walk for more than 6 continuous hours each day.
How are the physical demands of the expedition?
Most of the route is made on flat terrain, by trails in the jungle. In the trip there are usually small natural hills crossed, between 10 to 30 meters of elevation, before reaching the main archaeological sites.
What is the average age of the participants?
The majority of participants are young people from different parts of the world and on an average of 20 to 40 years old. But there are also travelers of different ages who make the expedition without problems, from the very young (14 years old) to 70 year old adults.
What things or equipment should I bring during the tour?
During the months of March to June the climate is very hot and humid, therefore for the day we recommend you to bring light garments that cover most of the body to avoid insect bites. You also need some clothing to warm up in the mornings and at night.
During the months of July to October it is also necessary to bring waterproof clothing during the rainy season.
It is essential to have good trekking shoes that allow you to walk many hours continuously without damaging the feet and to protect your feet during some wet and difficult stretches. During the months of March to May you can use lighter shoes.
What kind of backpack do I need for this tour?
It is recommended to bring a 25 pound backpack with necessary clothes only for the 5 days of the tour. The rest of the luggage can be left in the deposit of your hotel or otherwise you can leave it in our office in Carmelita. It is important to carry only what is necessary for the 5 days of trekking in a travel backpack that will be transported on a cargo mule.
We also recommend carrying a small backpack to transport your water, personal implements as light as possible, since during the trekking we will have to carry our personal backpack.